Yesterday I shared a recovery room with an 18 year old girl who had gotten a nose job and a boob job for her high school graduation present. I had just finished getting an operation on my spine, and we were put in the same sweltering room.
She was less than three feet away on the other side of the curtain, hacking and moaning and making weird strangled cow noises. Her mom was by her side, murmuring and telling her to take deep breaths. After one particularly bad episode of angry mooing and bed thrashing by the girl, the mother said, “No pain, no gain, right sweetie? Just think how pretty you are going to look!” Now I am not a mom, but her words gave my fuzzy brain pause. Is this just a California thing — giving your young daughter the gift of a new face and body? I find it unsettling, mainly because at that age I was positively radiant with ignorance. I had absolutely no idea of who I was or what I wanted do with my life, and certainly no sense of what I was capable of.
I don’t know many teenage girls who have their self-esteem all sorted out by the time they graduate high school. I DO know that If my mom had let me, I too would have gotten a nose job at 16. I hated my nose when I was growing up! Kids on the bus used to make fun of it because it was so pointy. The nerdier ones said it looked like an isosceles triangle.
(I see your point)
Somehow I made it through junior high and high school and out of my small town and around the world. The more I traveled, the more I started to like my nose.
Italy was a revelation!
(Where my girls at?)
(So pointy yet so noble)
I truly believe that travel is the single best gift you could give any kid, including teenagers. It opens your eyes to other definitions of beauty, and it gives you a sense of perspective that you can’t get any other way. It forms your character when you are young, and then keeps you young when you are old. Plus, isn’t Italy the best?? All that food and art and wine and sex and passeggiata-ing. For all I know, maybe sharp noses are the reason that Italians make such excellent wine.
It’s a little weird that these thoughts are at the forefront of my mind the day after getting surgery, but I guess it’s just my brain wandering around while my feet can’t.
Along with a lifelong love of travel, I inherited a bad back and this nose from my dad. So I’m perfectly happy getting the back fixed and having my pointy nose lead the way to the next adventure.